Monday, 11 March 2013

Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon Review (Xbox)


Broken Sword 3 follows on from the story of Shadow of the Templars, and apart from the occasional aside forgets about the second title. This time the plot revolves around mystical ‘ley lines’ and an evil man named Susaro. Throw in a few Neo-Templars, some characters from the previous title, and a strange monk that keeps appearing and electrocuting people, and the stage is set for George and Nico to once again save the world.

In a way, the original Broken Sword both escalated and killed off the point-and-click adventure. After 1996 the genre has struggled to recapture the magic of earlier titles. Clearly, if anything was going to survive, an evolution was needed. Escape from Monkey Island and Grim Fandango both tried new approaches, but the mainstream public were largely uninterested. Broken Sword 3 arrived with promises of revolutionary gameplay that would send the genre to a new level.

Everything is now presented in three dimensions, with four action-specific buttons at the bottom-right of the screen used to interact with your surroundings. Anything that can be interacted with causes them to light up. Pressing the relevant button will then see either George or Nico carry out the relevant action.

Along with the new interactive element, there are a couple of other tricks on show. For instance, on rare occasions quick time events will occur which require the player to press whichever button is displayed on the screen. The other, far more overused idea is the box shifting puzzle. While these are relatively simple, it becomes farcical when you turn corners in ancient locations only to see several boxes laid out neatly.

It is clear from the start that Broken Sword 3 is not going to appeal to everyone. The game can move at a slow pace, with some sections almost completely conversation based. Luckily, the scripting is absolutely first-class, at least whenever George is the character. Unfortunately, much like Broken Sword 2, Nico's sections can drag.

When all is said and done, Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon is basically an interactive novel. There are sections which consist of constantly walking back and forth talking to people, the puzzles may not be as great in parts as before, and yes, there are too many block puzzles. But we seriously can’t imagine anyone not having a good time with the game. The story is strong, scripting is well-done and characters are likable. If you enjoy a good adventure game or are a fan of the series, this should be enough to keep you happy. Don't expect to play it on Xbox 360 though, as the game hasn't been patched.

7/10

4 comments:

  1. Good review! I agree with you on the box puzzles, but why didn't you like the Nico sections? I guess she's more popular here in Germany because her German voice actress is amazing... It would have been also interesting to read a bit more about the retro aspect of the game, the development of the game and especially how it aged in the last ten years. :)

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  2. It's the same in BS 2. George gets to go exploring through ruins and she normally wanders about towns looking for clues. Her dialogue isn't as good either.

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